Extreme Crowds Hit Disney: How To Still Experience the Magic

Credit: Disdining and canva

The Walt Disney World Parks are packed this holiday week. As families look to enjoy some extra holiday magic, we have seen extreme crowds arrive. Larger crowds mean longer wait times for rides, packed walkways, and peak pricing for Genie+.

Even with the large crowds, some essential tips will help you navigate the crowds and have a magical time. Although these tips will help during this holiday rush, they are also great for spring break and summer months when Disney also sees larger crowds.

early entry (1)

Credit: Disneydining and Canva

Go Early or Stay Late

Setting the alarm during a vacation isn’t ideal, but it is a game changer. By being in a Disney Park early, you will be ahead of the crowds that will build midday. Take advantage of early entry when staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

Early entry allows Walt Disney World Resorts guests to enter any of the four Disney Parks a half hour early. This might seem like a bit of time, but it can be a huge win when it comes to being a step ahead of the crowds.

new years at walt disney world resort florida fourth of july fireworks show cinderella castle

Credit: Disney

The same strategy goes for the evening hours. If your family can stay late, take advantage of the longer park hours. During busier times of the year, park hours are extended to accommodate the crowd level. As those families with younger kids typically head out as the evening continues, the parks become much easier to navigate.

Guests staying at a Deluxe Resort can also take advantage of extended evening hours. These happen on select days throughout the year. Guests staying at these select resorts can enjoy up to three additional hours at the theme park after closing. During the busy time of year, this is a great perk.

Being in the parks early or late is a great way to avoid heavy crowds at Walt Disney World.

Breakfast at Steakhouse 71

Credit: Disney Dining

Eat Outside of the Parks

Navigating the quick service locations within the Disney Parks during mealtime can be frustrating. To avoid the large crowds during mealtime, consider heading out of the parks for a meal.

Grab a boat, bus, monorail, or skyliner to visit a nearby Disney Resort for a meal. Whether you hope to have a sit-down or a quick meal, these Resorts offer some outstanding options.

Chicken on Mickey Waffles with syrup and strawberry

Credit: Disney

Mobile ordering is also vital during mealtime. Use this feature in your My Disney Experience app to avoid long waits when you are hungry.

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail

Credit: Disney

Discover the Quiet Spots

Even when Disney Parks are super busy, quiet and hidden areas remain.  Take some time before you head down to find where these places are throughout the parks you plan to visit.

In Disney’s Animal Kingdom, enjoy walking around the trails. Catch a ride on the PeopleMover in Magic Kingdom, or people watch while in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. When visiting EPCOT, we love to get lost back in the countries. There are so many hidden gems throughout the World Showcase that many guests don’t know about, making this much quieter and less crowded.

Related: Best Quiet Places in Walt Disney World

Winter Summerland Miniature Golf

Credit: Disney

Find the Magic Outside of the Parks

Finally, when the parks get busy, head out; Walt Disney World has so much magic to offer that you can also discover it outside of the Disney Parks.

Take time to relax at your Walt Disney World Resort. Enjoy the book, crafts, and other activities throughout the day.

Consider heading out to play mini-golf, bowl, or fish. Disney’s Fort Wilderness has so much for guests to enjoy that you can spend a whole day there having a wonderful time together.

Enjoying all the magic outside the four main parks is a great way to escape the crowds.

These few tips can help you manage Walt Disney World when the crowds become too much.

Related: Unpleasant Challenges Coming to Disney in 2024


About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.